Kennewick veteran receives free car thanks to local thrift store

KENNEWICK, Wash. – For three weeks, Kennewick veteran Donald Houlihan has been without a car. He said this left him unable to volunteer at the Veteran’s Center in Pasco or get to VA appointments, out of town.

After his car broke down, the US Army Vet said he didn’t have the money to fix it or buy a new one.

With nowhere left to turn, he reached out to the Veterans Thrift Store in Kennewick, who luckily, was able to help out.

“I’ve been afoot for three weeks, I had no vehicle and I had no savings and this – puts me back to where I can do my VA appointments work at the vet’s center everyday like I planned,” Donald said.

The thrift store said occasionally they get cars from local donors who no longer use or need them, allowing them to gift the cars to veterans in need like Donald.

On Wednesday, they presented him with the keys to his own car.

“I feel so good right now, I’m so happy I’m trying to sit here and be calm I’m so grateful, I’m – I’m speechless, just thank you,” Donald said, smiling.

Thrift store management said they do everything in their power to help out local vets who may be down on their luck. During the cold weather, they’ve been offering packages with warm clothes and essentials for someone who needs it.

When they have the inventory, they’re also able to give away cars.

“Super exciting to be able to give this to a vet in need is amazing and we are blessed to be able to do so,” Brooke Walton, the Veterans Thrift Store HR Manager said.

Donald, who spends his time helping other veterans as a volunteer, couldn’t stop smiling as he was handed the keys and title to his car.

If you have a used vehicle that could be of use to a local veteran, you can reach out to the thrift store here.